fielded September 30 to October 4, among 500 Pennsylvania voters, showed the former vice president leading Trump by 12 percentage points — 54 percent to 42 percent. The results reflect a five-point jump for Biden and a three-point decrease for Trump since August. However, the gap narrows slightly when examining a high turnout among likely voters, with Biden maintaining 54 percent and Trump ticking up a single percentage point, to 43 percent. In a lower voter turnout scenario, the gap narrows even further, with Biden dropping to 53 percent and Trump garnering 45 percent — an eight-point gap overall:
“If any recent event moved the needle it was more likely last week’s debate than the president’s Covid diagnosis,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement alongside the survey’s findings.
“What seems to be more important than either event, though, is voters’ focus on which candidate they trust more on the issues that keep them up at night,” he added.
The survey found Pennsylvania voters trusting Biden over Trump on handling the coronavirus pandemic, 52 percent to 32 percent. Trump’s 32 percent dropped to 29 percent following his diagnosis:
The results are similar on other key issues, including keeping health care affordable and accessible, where 48% trust the Democrat more (46% before Friday and 50% since Friday) and 34% trust the Republican more (34% both before and since). Biden has a small advantage on handling law and order. Just over 4 in 10 trust Biden on this issue (45% overall, with 43% before and 46% since Friday) and a slightly smaller number trust Trump (41% overall, with 40% before and 42% since Friday).
As seen in several polls, voters tend to trust the president more on jobs and the economy, leading Biden 44 percent to 39 percent.
“Trump may be strongest on jobs and the economy but that seems to be an issue that is farther down the list of things that keep Pennsylvanians up at night,” Murray noted.
“On the other hand, an issue he has successfully elevated in the debate – law and order – may actually be helping his opponent more,” he added:
When asked about how much each of these four issues worry them personally, the top concerns for voters are the possible breakdown of law and order (58% worry a lot) and the coronavirus pandemic (54%). These are followed by knowing they will have access to medical care if they need it (46%) and knowing they will have a stable income next year (44%).
A closer look at the survey’s makeup reveals that registered Democrats made up 46 percent of respondents, followed by Republicans (40 percent), and unaffiliated voters (14 percent). Thirty-six percent of those surveyed identified themselves as Democrat, followed by 35 percent who said Republican and 29 percent who said independent.
Tuesday’s RealClearPolitics average gave Biden the advantage in the Keystone State, leading the president by 6.5 percent.
The survey comes as the GOP
booms in voter registrations in Pennsylvania — a phenomenon that may suggest that polls are not accurately depicting the race in the state.